Meet our childcare professionals and support staff


Louise Gourmelen


As Manager and Lead Practitioner of Holy Corner Community Playgroup I provide mindful leadership to ensure that our values of community and play underpin all our care and child-led learning provision, and that children and families stay at the heart of everything we do.
I bring diverse professional experience and education to my role, including a specific practice qualification in Childhood Practice. My practice is child-led, playful and kind, always respecting the rights of the child as individual, and my special research interest is in creative arts practice in Early Years Learning. I live in the local community and as a parent, care about preserving our community spaces for children of all ages. Holy Corner Community Playgroup is an uplifting and positive community environment in which to work and learn, and I am grateful to be part of a knowledgeable, caring and passionate team.

Fahmida Yasmin

Early Years Practitioner

I joined the team in November 2019, and I work 5 days a week. I have an HNC in childcare, and I have experience working with children of different ages in a variety of settings, as well as being a mum of 3 myself!  I have always loved working with children, and I believe Holy Corner Playgroup provides a very nurturing environment. I really enjoy doing arts and crafts with the children, and I love reading them stories. I can also speak Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi.


Carol Malkin

Lead Early Years Practitioner

I joined the team at Holy Corner after completing my SVQ in Social Services (Children and Young People). I work 5 mornings. After a successful 17 years working as a Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic I was inspired to retrain in Early Years after watching my son thrive in a child led and nurturing environment at Playgroup, and have now been working with young children for several years in community settings.
Spending most of my childhood outside has fostered a lifelong love of the outdoors, and all things muddy. I spent many summers working in children’s outdoor adventure camps and was a Girl Guide Young Leader and now a Rainbow Leader in training. I enjoy facilitating play in the natural environment and embracing the seasons. I love to cook and bake and believe it’s never too early to involve the children in the preparation of healthy snacks.


Shiefra Headey

Business Manager

I have been with Holy Corner Community Playgroup since August 2016 and work part-time for them and another nursery. My role includes supporting the playgroup with banking, payroll, committee relations plus liaising with Edinburgh Council, the Care Inspectorate and other regulatory bodies and stakeholders.

As a mum of two, I remember how important it was to find the right childcare setting for my own children. I love the community aspect of Holy Corner playgroup. The strong relationship between the staff, parents and children make it a happy, fun and rewarding working environment.


Emily Elgey

Early Years Practitioner

I joined the team in September 2022 after recently moving up to Edinburgh in September 2021, and I work at the playgroup on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Alongside this job I also work as part of the after-school team at Craiglockhart primary school two days a week.
My previous studies within childcare include childcare Level 2 and Level 3, Teaching Assistant Level 2 and Level 3 and my latest course which was a Foundation Degree in Early Years. My experience working with children whilst studying included working in a variety of settings including nurseries and schools in the foundation stages classes. Both of these have allowed me to work alongside children of different ages from birth to seven years. I have also built confidence in myself which has allowed me to enjoy reading stories to children, helping them learn and develop whilst also having fun.
For several years now, I have also been running my own babysitting service and recently since covid I have been providing care for children during school holidays.
Since I was 7 years old, I have been an active member of Girlguiding. This has now allowed me to become a leader at a Rainbows unit, where I organise activities for 14 girls aged 5 to 7 years. For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed spending time with young children. Family and friends have always commented that a career in childcare or teaching is meant for me, so I am so grateful to be part of this team and see where my future takes me in Early Years.